A Party for all Seasons at Crystal Cove: CCA’s Annual Gala and Soiree – Then and Now

Guests Vintage_MG_9313“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Laura Davick said when she announced Crystal Cove Alliance’s first fundraising gala more than a decade ago. “A lot of fun” on one evening can do a lot of good all year long, and the 14th annual Soirée on October 1 promises both.

CCA’s very first gala  — “Celebrating the Past and Rebuilding for the Future” — had a tropical beach theme, with hula dancers, a steel drum band, antique woody cars, and even a fire dancer. Later galas like “Rum Runners’ Ball” and “Jazz on the Beach” were inspired by the Cove’s colorful historical lore and featured vintage cars, college students in period costume teaching guests to dance the Jitterbug and the Charleston, and a secret-password speakeasy that served bathtub gin fizz cocktails.

The Cove’s Old Hollywood heritage set the scene for 2011’s glamorous “Surf, Sand, and the Silver Screen” with a red carpet entrance, while 2012’s “Ocean’s Treasures” showcased marine conservation. “Wish You Were Here” and “Back to the Beach” were classic beach-themed events, and last year’s “Moonlight Gala” celebrated the Cove’s natural beauty of sea, land, and sky lit by a real full moon.

This year’s Farm-to-Table Soirée also celebrates Crystal Cove’s coastal wild lands, and its history as part of a rich landscape of frost-free year-round growing seasons that provided fruits and vegetables — including the famous Kentucky Wonder String Bean — to local fresh markets and nearby Coast Highway roadside stands.

Whatever the theme, the annual gathering always celebrates the generosity of Crystal Cove’s community, recent accomplishments, and a vision for the Cove’s future while surrounded by the living land and ocean that the evening’s guests and sponsors help sustain all year long.

This year’s Soirée’s blufftop setting offers sunset views of the Pacific Ocean — a stunning location for al fresco appetizers that’s also a reminder of the Marine Protected Area where many of CCA’s immersive science-based programs occur. Each signature cocktail, farm-to-table seasonal entree, dance, and donated auction item at the Soirée will last long after The California Honeydrops play their last note — by sustaining CCA’s innovative year-round education, conservation, and preservation initiatives.

This year’s simply elegant Soirée is held in the fall, but as CCA’s most important fundraising event it’s a party for all the seasons at Crystal Cove.

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